Hot Best Seller

Confessions (Centaur Classics)

Availability: Ready to download

The work outlines Augustine's sinful youth and his conversion to Christianity. It is widely seen as the first Western autobiography ever written, and was an influential model for Christian writers throughout the following 1000 years of the Middle Ages. It is not a complete autobiography, as it was written in his early 40s, and he lived long afterwards, producing another im The work outlines Augustine's sinful youth and his conversion to Christianity. It is widely seen as the first Western autobiography ever written, and was an influential model for Christian writers throughout the following 1000 years of the Middle Ages. It is not a complete autobiography, as it was written in his early 40s, and he lived long afterwards, producing another important work (City of God); it does, nonetheless, provide an unbroken record of his development of thought and is the most complete record of any single person from the 4th and 5th centuries. It is a significant theological work. In the work St. Augustine writes about how much he regrets having led a sinful and immoral life. He discusses his regrets for following the Manichaean religion and believing in astrology. He writes about Nebridius's role in helping to persuade him that astrology was not only incorrect but evil, and St. Ambrose's role in his conversion to Christianity. The first nine books are autobiographical and the last four are commentary. He shows intense sorrow for his sexual sins, and writes on the importance of sexual morality. The books were written as prayers to God, thus the title, based on the Psalms of David; and it begins with "For Thou has made us for thyself and our hearts are restless till they rest in Thee". The work is thought to be divisible into books which symbolize various aspects of the Trinity and trinitarian belief.


Compare

The work outlines Augustine's sinful youth and his conversion to Christianity. It is widely seen as the first Western autobiography ever written, and was an influential model for Christian writers throughout the following 1000 years of the Middle Ages. It is not a complete autobiography, as it was written in his early 40s, and he lived long afterwards, producing another im The work outlines Augustine's sinful youth and his conversion to Christianity. It is widely seen as the first Western autobiography ever written, and was an influential model for Christian writers throughout the following 1000 years of the Middle Ages. It is not a complete autobiography, as it was written in his early 40s, and he lived long afterwards, producing another important work (City of God); it does, nonetheless, provide an unbroken record of his development of thought and is the most complete record of any single person from the 4th and 5th centuries. It is a significant theological work. In the work St. Augustine writes about how much he regrets having led a sinful and immoral life. He discusses his regrets for following the Manichaean religion and believing in astrology. He writes about Nebridius's role in helping to persuade him that astrology was not only incorrect but evil, and St. Ambrose's role in his conversion to Christianity. The first nine books are autobiographical and the last four are commentary. He shows intense sorrow for his sexual sins, and writes on the importance of sexual morality. The books were written as prayers to God, thus the title, based on the Psalms of David; and it begins with "For Thou has made us for thyself and our hearts are restless till they rest in Thee". The work is thought to be divisible into books which symbolize various aspects of the Trinity and trinitarian belief.

30 review for Confessions (Centaur Classics)

  1. 5 out of 5

    K.D. Absolutely

    I never dreamed that one day I would finished reading a 300-page memoir written by a ancient Catholic saint. See, how many saints who lived during the first millennium have written himself a memoir? I twice tried to read The Holy Bible (once in English and once in Tagalog) from cover to cover but failed. I just got distracted by too many details and hard-to-remember names and ancient places and I could not appreciate what were all those characters are doing. Excuses, excuses. They say that reading The Ho I never dreamed that one day I would finished reading a 300-page memoir written by a ancient Catholic saint. See, how many saints who lived during the first millennium have written himself a memoir? I twice tried to read The Holy Bible (once in English and once in Tagalog) from cover to cover but failed. I just got distracted by too many details and hard-to-remember names and ancient places and I could not appreciate what were all those characters are doing. Excuses, excuses. They say that reading The Holy Bible needs the Holy Spirit to come to you so that it will be the spirit who will whisper the words to your ears so that you will understand the word of God. Maybe the spirit is still contemplating whether a sinner like me is worth his time and effort. Until I came to this memoir. Written by a self-confessed sinner who is now considered one of the most important figures in the development of Western Christianity: Saint Augustine (latin word for church father)of Hippo (354-430) It took me more than 4 weeks to finish this book. Not a straight read. It is impossible to do that. The memoir is like a letter of St. Augustine to God and in the letter, he is conversing and confessing. He pours out his thoughts, his doubts, his questions. Some of those are funny (based on what we all know now with the advances in science and technology). He tells Him his weaknesses, what wrongs he has done to others. His sins in thoughts, in words, in actions. Reading it is like uttering a prayer. Read a page or two and you get that feeling that you have achieve your daily quota of prayers. St. Augustine poured his heart out in each page of his memoir. Something that is inspiring for me to ask myself those questions he threw out to God and reflect on those thoughts that he put on the pages. There are so many quotes that I would like to capture here but if I do that, I think I will be quoting half of the book. Most of them are in long and winding sentences but this first paragraph of Book 11 is my favorite: Is it possible, lord, that, since you are in eternity, you are ignorant of what I am saying to you? Or, do you see in time an event at the time it occurs? If not, then why am I recounting such a tale of things to you? Certainly not in order to acquiant you with them through me; but, instead, that through them I may stir up my own love and the love of my readers toward you, so that all may say, "Great is the lord and greatly to be praised." I have said this before and will say it again. For love of your love I do it. So also we pray - and yet truth tells us, "Your father knows want things you need before you ask him." Consequently, we lay bare our feelings before you, so that, through our confessing to you our plight and your mercies towards us, you may go on to free us altogether, as you have already begun; and so that we may cease to be wretched in ourselves and blessed in you - since you have called us to be poor in spirit, meek, mourners, hungering and athirst for righteousness, merciful and pure in heart." Now, I have to give The Holy Bible another try. I could not have finished this whole book and pointed that beautiful part if there was no Holy Spirit upon me. Oh ye of little faith.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    I am going to take my time with this book. It'd be the first time I read this sort of thing just for the joy of it. I'm just a bit familiar with St. Augustine and while I know this can be a hard read due to my personal beliefs, it is always great to read what other people's take on religion, love, hate and the human meaning.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Darwin8u

    This experience sufficiently illuminates the truth that free curiosity has greater power to stimulate learning than rigorous coercion. - Augustine, Confessions Sublime and Original I can’t believe it has taken me so long to read Augustine’s Confessions. I might not agree with some of his conclusions (my Christian framework, Mormon*, would be considered a heresy by Augustine), bclass="gr-hostedUserImg">Sublime This experience sufficiently illuminates the truth that free curiosity has greater power to stimulate learning than rigorous coercion. - Augustine, Confessions Sublime and Original I can’t believe it has taken me so long to read Augustine’s Confessions. I might not agree with some of his conclusions (my Christian framework, Mormon*, would be considered a heresy by Augustine), but his influence on Christianity, philosophy, and the West can’t be ignored. I read this book in little bits on Sunday during Church (specifically Mormon church, more specifically Sacrament meeting). You may notice the math doesn't work I've spent nearly half of the year reading Augustine on Sundays (52/2 = 26; 26x20 = 520; and Confessions is NOT 520 pages). That is easily explained. I have two friends a six-year-old (Cohen) and a ten-year-old (Wes) with autism. They often sit with me when they struggle with the pews at Church and end up being more than their parents can handle. I must confess, I can do amazing things on Sunday with Wes or Cohen (mints or candy help), but Wes + Cohen + Augustine never seems to work out well for Augustine. Thus, my progress has been slowed. I think both God and Augustine would/will understand. I must also confess that I liked the Confessions part of the book, more than the expositions (the last 4 books). * my Mormon framework, Zen Mormon, would also be considered a heresy by most Mormons. :)

  4. 5 out of 5

    Farren

    Are you there God? It's me, St. Augustine.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Chadwick's translation of Augustine's Confessions (note that this is a confession to God, while read by men) is one of the best. It is not costly in a monetary sense; new it is a mere 6.95. However, it is deceptively short. A chapter will take you two hours if you give it the attention it deserves. Augustine is a circular writer. He is not a bad writer - he was known to be a merciless editor, in fact. But he goes around and around, especially later on in the last chapters of the book when he is Chadwick's translation of Augustine's Confessions (note that this is a confession to God, while read by men) is one of the best. It is not costly in a monetary sense; new it is a mere 6.95. However, it is deceptively short. A chapter will take you two hours if you give it the attention it deserves. Augustine is a circular writer. He is not a bad writer - he was known to be a merciless editor, in fact. But he goes around and around, especially later on in the last chapters of the book when he is wondering aloud, in a sense, about more neo-platonic and loftier, metaphysical questions he is asking of God and thinking aloud/reasoning as best he can with his brilliant mind on paper; recognizing that that mind is a gift from God and he is to steward it. It gets hairy. It gets *hard* to stick with. If you can, and you do, you will find yourself perhaps having some of the same reactions I did: a)I always wondered the same thing!, or b)I am not even smart enough to have even thought to have wondered that or possibly even c)I have no idea what he's even talking about anymore. Had I not taken a course solely on The Confessions, when I had to read De Trinitate in a later theology class I most likely would have had a crisis of faith and quit. Because I was used to his style of writing and knew who the Manichees were, what the background was and the Neo-Platonic, socio-historical setting Augustine was situated in, I could confront De Trinitate and later, "for fun," I was brazen enough to take on The City of God. There was nothing Augustine didn't talk about or no issue he didn't confront as Bishop when he was alive, because he was a very prolific writer. He spent his time not in fancy robes as one may imagine, but answering questions of the people - he was an ad hoc theologian. We are still reaping the benefits of that today, for his answers were good ones and are still relevant. Before he became bishop, though, he lived the life he spells out on the pages of the Confessions, which are not tales of endless days skipping carelessly along smooth paths by any stretch of the imagination. He reveals facets of himself not very becoming of a bishop; facets that are human. He was the first to admit to having such personality traits and publish a book about it and turn it back into praise to God when it was previously just material for gossip. Remaining human all the while, he points steadfastly to God, which is why this book is so crucial to know intimately. He speaks of heartbreak and loss in a way that you want to turn to it when you go through it (I did). He speaks of those who will naysay you when you have changed, speaking of who you were and not who you are, and you will again want to turn to his words. It is invaluable.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sean Blake

    "Day after day I postponed living in you, but I never put off the death which I died each day in myself. I longed for a life of happiness but I was frightened to approach it in its own domain; and yet, while I fled from it, I still searched for it." Reading Augustine of Hippo's Confessions is like plunging into a deep, dark abyss and seeing a slither of light at the far side of the endless tunnel, unaware of whether you reach it or not; for Confessions is a proto-existentialist work of a man attempting to achieve inner "Day after day I postponed living in you, but I never put off the death which I died each day in myself. I longed for a life of happiness but I was frightened to approach it in its own domain; and yet, while I fled from it, I still searched for it." Reading Augustine of Hippo's Confessions is like plunging into a deep, dark abyss and seeing a slither of light at the far side of the endless tunnel, unaware of whether you reach it or not; for Confessions is a proto-existentialist work of a man attempting to achieve inner perfection in a world of material greed and spiritual emptiness. Sound familiar? Because these themes are universal and timeless in the eternal consciousness of man. Augustine of Hippo is no stranger to this recurring trait of our species, and in the first part of the poetic masterpiece, he bears his fragile soul to all who dare to truly enlighten themselves. This book was his attempt at addressing the painful sins of his aesthetically dangerous past, and trying to rid of them through tortured prayers to God. "But the time had now come when I stood naked before my own eyes, while my conscience upbraided me." It is obvious right from the start that Augustine refuses to give the reader an easy going reading experience. For a religious text, it is heart wrenching at times and, while offering a continually fresh perspective on Christianity and philosophy, he retains a strong hold on the reader as he deconstructs his flawed nature, for his suffering was also his redemption, his enlightenment, his forgiveness. One feels his morally destructive pain in each emotional page; for how can a man attempting to achieve inner perfection and a connection with God live with sorrowful reflections of sleeping with prostitutes—even living with one? He tears himself apart passionately describing a scene from his childhood when he stole some fruit, not out of desperation, but simply because it was wrong. "It is in my own mind, then, that I measure time. I must not allow my mind to insist that time is something objective. I must not let it thwart me because of all the different notions and impressions that are lodged in it." These confessions continue well after his memoir. In part two, he confesses his theological and philosophical beliefs with extended theoretical examinations on the nature of man, the mind, the senses, time, Creation and its relation to God. Augustine delves deep into the mind, in an attempt to understand what gave Moses and Christ such inherently profound knowledge. His dissections into the memory of the rational mind is examined extensively and, upon reflection, his agonizing search for the Truth still provides acute psychological penetration into the human soul over 1,500 years on. His experiments still explain some deep truths in the vast network of human thought. Ironically, however, there was an everlastingly warm presence throughout the book, for Augustine is not only talking to God, he is also talking to us, the reader. Part memoir, part philosophical and theological investigation into the nature of existence, Augustine of Hippo's Confessions is an honest and beautiful work of non-fiction, where the unexplained might not be explained, but the door is opened slightly more to the Truth. That sleep may wearied limbs restore, And fit for toil and use once more... Saint Ambrose

  7. 4 out of 5

    Murtaza

    I suspect most people today would not imagine that they have much in common with a Christian saint who lived over 1500 years ago. Remarkably enough however if they read this book I think they'd find much to relate to, just as I did. The Confessions is the famous autobiography of St. Augustine of Hippo, a North African saint. It is in part his life story, but to me it is really his spiritual biography. It is in effect a long letter from himself directed towards God, explaining his path towards the divine. I I suspect most people today would not imagine that they have much in common with a Christian saint who lived over 1500 years ago. Remarkably enough however if they read this book I think they'd find much to relate to, just as I did. The Confessions is the famous autobiography of St. Augustine of Hippo, a North African saint. It is in part his life story, but to me it is really his spiritual biography. It is in effect a long letter from himself directed towards God, explaining his path towards the divine. It is the story of how Augustine went from a sinner — someone who in his own words had a restless soul and disordered mind — into the realm of divine knowledge and awareness. It is a familiar story to anyone who has read Ibn Arabi, al-Ghazali or any other individuals who have counseled taking what is often referred to as the spiritual path. What was most notable to me about the book were how "normal" St. Augustine and his thoughts seem by today's standards. He did not want to surrender his bad habits and he did not want to be ridiculed for believing something that he'd (incorrectly) assumed was ridiculous. He wanted real knowledge and the company of his beloved friends and family. He loved his mother and he wanted to do what was right in his life, a life that he knew was inherently transient. The book describes the process of his spiritual awakening, likening it at one part to the resistance one feels to waking up in the morning and the efforts we take to remain asleep even when we know we must get up. He describes the components of existence as being like the words of a sentence, with one dying so the other can live and none but the highest intellect able to see the meaning of the entire sentence. His heart desires to come to a place of rest, rather than being in endless search for a thing that our minds cannot name. The prose is beautiful. This is a book that deserves to be described as timeless, because it deals with the core issues of the human condition: who we are, why we are here and what we must do to be enlightened, peaceful and successful. It is also an advised read for those who incorrectly believe that Christianity is a superficial or intellectually unstimulating religion. This could not be further from the truth. To me St. Augustine was another Ibn Arabi, an earnest seeker of the truth who found his riches by looking within. As long as human beings still exist, this book has something very important to say to them.

  8. 5 out of 5

    James

    It was slow, it was dense, and it was militantly Christian. So why is that The Confessions is such an unavoidably fascinating work? Augustine appears here as a fully realized person, with all the good and the bad that that implies; it's as if the book was a conversation with God and a fly-on-the-wall was taking dictation. Since God obviously would have known Augustine's transgressions before they even occurred, Augustine thus has nothing to hide in this personal narrative, or at least makes it a It was slow, it was dense, and it was militantly Christian. So why is that The Confessions is such an unavoidably fascinating work? Augustine appears here as a fully realized person, with all the good and the bad that that implies; it's as if the book was a conversation with God and a fly-on-the-wall was taking dictation. Since God obviously would have known Augustine's transgressions before they even occurred, Augustine thus has nothing to hide in this personal narrative, or at least makes it appear that way. The prose of this translation must be incredibly different from its Latin source, but it's obvious that Augustine has a force of personality that appears through his work that few writer have matched in the centuries that have followed this original Western autobiography. The power and beauty of his writing was no doubt aided by his devotion not only to The Bible, but to Cicero, Plato, and especially Virgil. It's also an incomparably fascinating window into the culture of the time: the Manicheans, Astrologers, Christians, and Pagans are all interesting studies through the eyes of this saint. His contributions to philosophy in this text cannot be ignored even today. Bertrand Russell (not exactly a churchgoer) admired his work on time, and it's still an enlightening experience to read these thoughts. And of course the story of spiritual awakening is an inspiring and beautiful one, a story that is not altogether dissimilar to that of the Buddha centuries before Augustine. Although, especially at the start, it can be slow and cold reading, The Confessions more than justifies its position as one of the most important books ever written.

  9. 4 out of 5

    MihaElla

    Due to unknown and mysterious reasons, each and every year, chiefly on Labour day (at my side always celebrated on 1st May and of course a day off), I seem to fall under a moral paralysis, while suffering a bit of nervous physical inability, which converts me into the laziest person ever. Fortunately, this seems to last only one day and, additionally, as per my horoscope’s indications, this is not my worst fault. This year wasn’t any different than my collected past. So, while gazing for an hour Due to unknown and mysterious reasons, each and every year, chiefly on Labour day (at my side always celebrated on 1st May and of course a day off), I seem to fall under a moral paralysis, while suffering a bit of nervous physical inability, which converts me into the laziest person ever. Fortunately, this seems to last only one day and, additionally, as per my horoscope’s indications, this is not my worst fault. This year wasn’t any different than my collected past. So, while gazing for an hour or two at a blank wall (again, fortunately, I have only one blank wall in my room, all the others are veiled by furniture), dozing for a few times under a cosy sweet morning sleep, suddenly upon waking up I felt snapping into action and jumped on one of the bookcases and decided for the day to be under, maybe a bit, not so highly appetizing book. Obviously, an unconscious prejudice. The choice for the day was this small light book. I don’t know why upon picking it up from the bookshop I thought that this is all of it, I mean it contains All of the Augustine saint's Confessions. But it is not. Of course, there are many texts chopped and left just with …. in the parenthesises. Reading-wise it was very pleasant and smooth transition between the chapters. I felt that some things were more than reasonable enough to say and write anyone, anytime, anywhere. The areas where ideas were being converted into a heavier block of comments, suddenly were not... Again, some chapters were so short-length, just 1-3 pages which left me with a very unconvincing insight on the treated theme or subject. However, overall, I really had pleasure reading these passionate confessions. In some places, I even felt envy towards the saint. IF only, I could say the same for things that are under my umbrella. But, hopefully, the time is not yet lost. In some parts of the book, I got under this strong impression that I am re-reading something that I once read in ‘God’s Pauper: Saint Francis of Assisi’ by Nikos Kazantzakis. Under the paint brush of Kazantzakis, Francis was one of the most loving characters but so desperately suffering that made me put away the book, time and again, so to (re)gain some strength for further reading. I recall I read some biography of St Francis of Assisi also by Herman Hesse. It was also a small light book that gave me some glimpses of the life of this well famous personage. ≪ …but in my memory the images of things imprinted upon it by my former habits still linger on. When I am awake they obtrude themselves upon me, though with little strength. But when I dream, they not only give me pleasure but are very much like acquiescence in the act. The power which these illusory images have over my soul and my body is so great that what Is no more than a vision can influence me in sleep in a way that the reality cannot do when I am awake. Surely it cannot be that when I am asleep I am not myself? And yet the moment when I pass from wakefulness to sleep, or return again from sleep to wakefulness, marks a great difference in me. During sleep where is my reason which, when I am awake, resists such suggestions and remains firm and undismayed even in face of the realities themselves? Is it sealed off when I close my eyes? Does it fall asleep with the senses of the body? And why is it that even in sleep I often resist the attractions of these images, for I remember my chaste resolutions and abide by them and give no consent to temptations of this sort? Yet the difference between waking and sleeping is so great that even when, during sleep, it happens otherwise, I return to a clear conscience when I wake and realize that, because of this difference, I was not responsible for the act, although I am sorry that by some means or other it happened to me. I must now speak of a different kind of temptation, more dangerous than these because it is more complicated. For in addition to our bodily appetites, which make us long to gratify all our senses and our pleasures and lead to our ruin if we stay away from you by becoming their slaves, the mind if also subject to a certain propensity to use the sense of the body, not for self-indulgence of a physical kind, but for the satisfaction of its own inquisitiveness. This futile curiosity masquerades under the name of science and learning, and since it derives from our thirst of knowledge and sight is the principal sense by which knowledge is acquired, in the Scriptures it is called the gratification of the eye. >> << We can easily distinguish between the motives of pleasure and curiosity. When the senses demand pleasure, they look for objects of visual beauty, harmonious sounds, fragrant perfumes, and things that are pleasant to the taste or soft to the touch. But when their motive is curiosity, they may look for just the reverse of these things, simply to put it to the proof, not for the sake of an unpleasant experience, but from a relish for investigation and discovery. What pleasure can there be in the sight of a mangled corpse, which can only horrify? Yet people will flock to see one lying on the ground, simply for the sensation of sorrow and horror that it gives them. They are even afraid that it may bring them nightmares, as though it were something that they had been forced to look at while they were awake or something to which they had been attracted by rumours of its beauty.>> << Who can understand the omnipotent Trinity? We all speak of it, though we may not speak of it as it truly is, for rarely does a soul know what it is saying when it speaks of the Trinity. Men wrangle and dispute about it, but it is a vision that is given to none unless they are at peace. There are three things, all found in man himself, which I should like men to consider. They are far different from the Trinity, but I suggest them as a subject for mental exercise by which we can test ourselves and realize how great this difference is. The three things are existence, knowledge, and will, for I can say that I am, I know, and I will. I am a being which knows and wills; I know both that I am and that I will; and I will both to be and to know. In these three – being, knowledge, and will – there is one inseparable life, one life, one mind, one essence; and therefore, although they are distinct from one another, the distinction does not separate them. This must be plain to anyone who has the ability to understand it. In fact, he need not look beyond himself. Let him examine himself closely, take stock, and tell me what he finds. But when he has found a common principle in these three and has told me what he finds, he must not think that he has discovered that which is above them all and is unchangeable, that which immutably is, immutably knows, and immutably wills. For none of us can easily conceive whether God is a Trinity because all these three – immutable being, immutable knowledge, and immutable will – are together in him; whether all three are together in each person of the Trinity, so that each is threefold; or whether both these suppositions are true and in some wonderful way, in which the simple and the multiple are one, though God is infinite he is yet an end to himself and in himself, so that the Trinity is an itself, and is known to itself, and suffices to itself, the supreme Being, one alone immutably, in the vastness of its unity. This is a mystery that none can explain, and which of us would presume to assert that he can? ≫ All in one, I feel like repeating the same words that Bulgakov (The White Guard) put in the mouth of a soldier who claimed that one day God spoke directly to him, about God’s presence and of believers in his faith: ≪ Well, if they do not believe, what can you do? It’s up to each one of them. I do not care about this either. As you do not care either. And they don’t care either. As for your faith, you ought to know that I have neither gain nor loss. One believes, another does not believe, but your actions and deeds are all the same: one, two, and you will squeeze your throats… For me, you are all the same - soldiers fallen on the battlefield. That's what you need to understand, though it's not in everyone's power. And then, do not worry about stuff like that. Walk healthy and enjoy life. ≫

  10. 4 out of 5

    James

    I have read this book several times, both as part of the Basic Program of Liberal Education at the University of Chicago and most recently as one of the monthly selections of a reading group in which I participate. Like all classics it bears rereading and yields new insights each time I read it. But it also is unchanging in ways that struck me when I first read it; for Augustine's Confessions seem almost modern in the telling with a psychological perspective that brings his emotional growth aliv I have read this book several times, both as part of the Basic Program of Liberal Education at the University of Chicago and most recently as one of the monthly selections of a reading group in which I participate. Like all classics it bears rereading and yields new insights each time I read it. But it also is unchanging in ways that struck me when I first read it; for Augustine's Confessions seem almost modern in the telling with a psychological perspective that brings his emotional growth alive across the centuries. From the carnality of his youth to the moment in the Milanese Garden when a spiritual epiphany changes his perspective forever, the story is an earnest and sincere exposition of his personal growth. You do not have to be a Catholic or even a believer to appreciate the impact of events in the life of the young Augustine. His relations with his mother, Monica, are among those that still have impact on the modern reader. The additional philosophical musings, such as his discussion of the nature of time, make this even more compelling to those who appreciate philosophical contemplation. Psychology, philosophy and spirituality combine to make this one of the "Great" books that remind you that true insight into the human condition transcends time and place.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jill

    I can’t really rate this one but it was certainly interesting... not my favorite though.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Greg Garrett

    I used to hate Augustine of Hippo. I found him too anxious, too focused on the sexual sins he was sure he was committing, and too sure about the fallen nature of human beings. The Confessions changed all that for me. It's like how when you meet someone you can't judge them in the same way any more; The Confessions helped me understand that Augustine--like everyone--was trying to understand his life, his place in the world, and his motivations for doing things. Most importantly, The Confessions h I used to hate Augustine of Hippo. I found him too anxious, too focused on the sexual sins he was sure he was committing, and too sure about the fallen nature of human beings. The Confessions changed all that for me. It's like how when you meet someone you can't judge them in the same way any more; The Confessions helped me understand that Augustine--like everyone--was trying to understand his life, his place in the world, and his motivations for doing things. Most importantly, The Confessions helped me understand my own yearning for something bigger than myself, and why placing myself front and center had always been disastrous, and always would be. Augustine has made me a wiser person, surely--I understand God, people, politics, art, and beauty better thanks to him--but he's also made me a better writer and critic, and this is the best place to make his acquaintance (and for some, to finish. Augustine was trained as a classical orator, and he is not an easy read, even in a good translation like this).

  13. 5 out of 5

    Guy Austin

    “Why then should I be concerned for human readers to hear my confessions? It is not they who are going to ‘heal my sicknesses’. The human race is inquisitive about other people’s lives, but negligent to correct their own.” I was very excited to read this book; Confessions by St Augustine. Having been an inspiration to so many including John Calvin, Martin Luther and so many others. It is a memoir like few others. One of the first of its kind. In that fact alone my curiosity was peaked “Why then should I be concerned for human readers to hear my confessions? It is not they who are going to ‘heal my sicknesses’. The human race is inquisitive about other people’s lives, but negligent to correct their own.” I was very excited to read this book; Confessions by St Augustine. Having been an inspiration to so many including John Calvin, Martin Luther and so many others. It is a memoir like few others. One of the first of its kind. In that fact alone my curiosity was peaked. To read of a life from so long ago pulled me. It is so much more than that. It is indeed a confession. I laying out of all his early life filled with doubt and various ideas of the age he grew up in. It is also a great study of philosophy and theology. The result of this work laid out much of the thought of the reformation leading to the protestant faith. It is broken in to thirteen books. Starting with a pouring out of his self and leading us through his earliest memories growing up in North Africa in the 300’s. His relationship with his parents and particularly to his mother’s faith as an early Christian is a big part of his growth. His sins and reflective disgust with his youthful dalliances are not white washed. Including his wanting of woman’s company in his bed. “How stupid man is to be unable to restrain feelings in suffering the human lot! That was my state at that time. So I boiled with anger, sighed, wept, and was at my wits’ end. I found no calmness, no capacity for deliberation. I carried my lacerated and bloody soul when it was unwilling to be carried by me. I found no place where I could put it down. There was no rest in pleasant groves, nor in games or songs, nor in sweet-scented places, nor in exquisite feasts, nor in the pleasures of the bedroom and bed, nor, finally, in books and poetry.” The first half of the book is more or less a memory of his early life into his late 20’s and early 30’s. His relationships with woman and birth of his son out of wedlock, his friends, mentors, and his mother Monica leading to his conversion. The second part of the book get more into philosophical discussions. His discussion on time is both interesting and honestly confusing to me. I found many of his discussions long and winding roads that lead us to his understanding of time. It was at times difficult to follow yet fascinating. His argument for the existence of God who is good and how evil can exist simultaneously is here and all of it is written beautifully. The entire novel is readable and enjoyable regardless if you are a believer or not. There is much here to mine. It is a novel that could be read several times and probably should be to fully grasp all that is in it. I have no doubt most would read and be startled to know how relatable it is to our own individual doubts on the existence of God. The fact that this Saint could have many of the same doubts in his life as me gave me pause. As he lays out many streams of thought I caught myself wondering why I had not thought of that myself. And then there were times I read his thoughts and was lost and found myself rereading parts to try to grasp it all. The entire confession is eye opening and revealing that we are all human. The titles of Bishop and Saint matter not. We all struggle with the same issues. “Give me chastity and continence, but not just yet” I gave it 4 stars only because I enjoyed the first part far more than the second. I struggled with many of the concepts but the writing was beautiful. However I think many would read the second half or the last three of four books and enjoy these pieces more than I. There is much in here to enjoy and think about.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Manny

    The first nine Books are brilliant, revolutionary, both as a confession and as theology. I wish Augustine had ended it there, and I wish someone could explain why he doesn’t end it there. But given I’m a slacker, I guess I don’t deserve an explanation. I’m sure it’s what I said before: “It probably all relates to the nature of humanity, the nature of God, the nature of His creation, and the nature of sin, all in the context of Augustine's early life and conversion. I just don't understand it...l The first nine Books are brilliant, revolutionary, both as a confession and as theology. I wish Augustine had ended it there, and I wish someone could explain why he doesn’t end it there. But given I’m a slacker, I guess I don’t deserve an explanation. I’m sure it’s what I said before: “It probably all relates to the nature of humanity, the nature of God, the nature of His creation, and the nature of sin, all in the context of Augustine's early life and conversion. I just don't understand it...lol.” The last four books are way too philosophical for me, but I am assured that it ranks with the great philosophers. I do like Kerstin’s final questions. Let me take a crack at them. What did you think of the book overall? Brilliant, difficult, insightful, revolutionary, honest, unlike anything in its day. Finally I think holy. His voice of continuous prayer just exudes holiness. What surprised you? How the entire book was one long, continuous prayer to God. An actual confession. What touched you? His relationship with his mother. We all know how much she loved him through her constant prayer for his conversion, but he apparently had the same love for her, and in his times I’m not sure how common that was. That moment after his conversion and just before she dies where they sit in the garden and contemplate heaven is very striking. And of course his prayer for her soul at the end of chapter nine was most touching. What made you laugh? I don’t know if this is funny (probably not) but a heck of a lot of his friends kept dying from fever. If I ever read Confessions again I’m going to have to count how many. What inspired you? The continuous prayer. His prayerful voice just entered my ear and has stayed there. It’s a wonderful way to speak to God, an almost constant confession, with praise and blessings thrown in.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    St. Augustine’s Confessions is such a lovely and honest book. I’d recommend it to everyone, if people who aren’t remotely religious. It’s one of those works that really manages to encapsulate certain feelings and articulate them in ways that are clear but also sort of startling in their clarity, saying obvious things in ways you’d never quite thought of before. Take this bit from Book 8: “In my heart I kept saying ‘Let it be now, let it be now!’ and merely by saying this I was on the point of ma St. Augustine’s Confessions is such a lovely and honest book. I’d recommend it to everyone, if people who aren’t remotely religious. It’s one of those works that really manages to encapsulate certain feelings and articulate them in ways that are clear but also sort of startling in their clarity, saying obvious things in ways you’d never quite thought of before. Take this bit from Book 8: “In my heart I kept saying ‘Let it be now, let it be now!’ and merely by saying this I was on the point of making the resolution. I was on the point of making it, but I did not succeed. Yet I did not fall back into my old state. I stood on the brink of resolution, waiting to take a fresh breath…And the closer I came to the moment whichw as to mark the great change in me, the more I shrank from it in horror. But it did not drive me back or turn me from my purpose: it merely left me hanging in suspense.” It’s a distinctly theological feeling for Augsustine, but I also think it’s just generally a human one, and that’s what makes this book such a joy to read. Augustine is also just a lovely writer, and he’s honest and inquisitive about himself, his God, and his world. It’s one of the most accessible ways to get a look at the worldview of an early medieval Christian. There are also two sections on memory and time (books 10 and 11) that are just loads of fun.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Quirkyreader

    This was a newer translation that completely spoke to me. What I especially enjoyed was that all the scripture that he referenced in his work was noted down. It took me a while to read this one because I read all of the Bible passages noted in the work. I can see way this book has been such an inspiration for people over the years. While reading this I was highlighting like crazy in my Bible app. Word of advice, if you read this edition and want to read all the passages, having a Bibl This was a newer translation that completely spoke to me. What I especially enjoyed was that all the scripture that he referenced in his work was noted down. It took me a while to read this one because I read all of the Bible passages noted in the work. I can see way this book has been such an inspiration for people over the years. While reading this I was highlighting like crazy in my Bible app. Word of advice, if you read this edition and want to read all the passages, having a Bible app will make it easier. I was constantly switching between different translations because St. Augustine used the Latin Vulgate when he was writing this. And some of the books he referenced aren’t found in a common translation of the Bible. Reading this book was a very joyful time.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Shyam

    Entrust to the Truth all that you have from the Truth, and you shall lose nothing. The parts of you that are withered shall bloom again, and all your illnesses shall be healed. (4.11.16) Seek what you seek, but it is not where you seek it. You seek a life of blessedness in the land of death; it is not there. How can there be a blessed life in a place where there is not even life itself? (4.12.18) As for those who think there is another life, they are chasing after another Entrust to the Truth all that you have from the Truth, and you shall lose nothing. The parts of you that are withered shall bloom again, and all your illnesses shall be healed. (4.11.16) Seek what you seek, but it is not where you seek it. You seek a life of blessedness in the land of death; it is not there. How can there be a blessed life in a place where there is not even life itself? (4.12.18) As for those who think there is another life, they are chasing after another joy, and not the true one. (10.22.32) ___________ Going in with most works 'blind' (so to speak) as I like to do, I had no idea that Augustine’s Confessions was so suffused with the former's religious experience. The work is strongly interwoven with Scripture, but apart from this, Augustine muses on many topics such as Beauty, Memory, and Metaphysics. A nice work, and great translation. __________ For as we grow up, we weed such habits out of ourselves and throw them away; but I have never known any wise farmer, when weeding his plot, to throw good plants out with the bad. (1.7.11) And yet we did sin . . . We paid less attention to our books than was expected of us. (1.9.15) Adults have their games, which they dignify by the name of 'business'. (1.9.15) It is but vanity to make a profession of these earthly things . . . (5.5.8) They think they are radiant and exalted as the stars of heaven, when all the while they have fallen headlong to earth, and their heart is darkened in its folly. (5.3.5) The daily ruin of our body is called ‘pleasure’. (10.31.43) As for the reason why I hated the Greek literature in which I was steeped as a boy—for that I have still found no satisfactory explanation. I had fallen in love with Latin literature . . . (1.13.20) I confess I was eager to learn these books, for they were the joy of my wretched life. (1.16.26) But it was not surprising that I was drifting off towards these vanities . . . considering what sort of men were held up to me as examples to imitate. (1.18.28) Around me lay the quagmire of carnal desire, bubbling with the springs of pubescence, and breathing a mist that left my heart fog-bound and benighted; I could no longer tell the clear skies of love from the dark clouds of lust. The two swirled around me in confusion; and in my youthful ignorance I was quickly drawn over the cliffs of desire and sucked down by the eddying currents of vice. (2.2.2) My vanity was so excessive that I longed to be smart and sophisticated. (3.1.1) My studies, too—'The Liberal Arts', as they were called—were leading me in a direction of their own. (3.3.6) In the regular course of study I came to a book by a certain Cicero . . . this book of his contains an exhortation to philosophy; it is called the Hortensius. It was this book that changed my outlook . . . Suddenly all my vain hopes seemed cheap, and I began to lust with a passion scarcely to be believed after the immortality conferred by philosophy . . . It was not in order to hone my tongue that I took it up, nor was it Cicero's manner of speech that swayed me, but what he was saying. (3.4.7) . . . in Cicero's exhortation to philosophy there was one thing that I loved especially, namely that his words aroused me and set me on fire not to be a lover of this or that sect, but of wisdom itself, whatever it may be; to love it and seek it and gain it and keep it, to embrace it with all my strength. (3.4.)8 He will find out for himself from his reading the nature of his mistake . . . (3.12.21) 'What is it that we love except what is beautiful? What, then, is "beautiful"? And what is beauty? What is there in the things we love that charms and attracts us? They could not draw us to themselves unless there were some internal harmony and beauty of form about them.' I looked around and saw that within physical objects there is one sort of beauty that comes, so to speak, from the totality, and another which gives a sense of harmony through the congruence with which it fits in without another object, as part of a body fits in with the whole, or as a shoe fits a foot, and so forth. This thought welled up in the depths of my heart and filled my mind . . . (4.13.20) I sought to know why I thought good the beauty of physical objects, whether in the heavens or on earth, and what it was that helped me judge correctly when I said of mutable objects, 'This thing ought to be such and such, but that thing so and so.' As I asked the question of why I judged thus (seeing that I did judge thus) I had found an eternity of truth, unchangeable and true . . . (7.17.23) From that Beauty these craftsmen that pursue outward beauties take the yardstick by which they perceive what is good, but not the yardstick by which they should use it. (10.34.53) I read by myself all the books on the so-called liberal arts, and understood all that I read . . . (4.16.30) . . . I discovered that this erstwhile master of the liberal arts knew only literature—and had no special knowledge even of that. He had read some of Cicero's speeches, a few books by Seneca, some odds and ends of poetry, and the more literate of the Latin works of his own sect. (5.6.11) I had not yet attained the truth, but had now been rescued from falsehood.(6.1.1) As I passed through a street in Milan, I noticed a pauper begging. I suppose he had already had a skinful, and was now in a happy mood, full of jokes. I groaned, and observed to the friends who were with me how many were the sufferings of our own madness inflicted upon us. In all our strivings, such as those under which I was then labouring as I dragged my burden of unhappiness, driven by the lash of my own desires, making it heavier as I dragged it, we had but one wish: to arrive at a state of happiness and confidence. But that beggar, I said, had beaten us to it, and we would perhaps never reach it. What he had attained with the aid of a few small coins, and begged ones at that, I was approaching by a circuitous route, with many painful twists and turns: namely, the happiness that comes from earthly felicity. It was no true jot that he had; but the joy that I was seeking through my ambitions was far falser. He, at any rate, was cheerful, while I was anxious he was carefree, while I was full of trepidation. If someone had asked me whether I would rather be happy or fearful, I would have said, ‘Happy’. If they had asked again, whether I would rather be like the beggar, or as I then was, I would have chosen to be myself, exhausted though I was with worries and fears. But this is a perverse choice; what of the truth? I should not have regarded my condition as preferable to his because I was more educated, for I had no joy of my education. Instead, I sought to please men with it; not to teach them, but only to please them . . . It does matter, I know, why one is happy; the happiness that comes from faithful hope is incomparably different from my vanity. But even then, there was a difference between us: he was the rapper, not only in that he was drenched with high spirits, whearas I was even up inside with anxieties, but also in that he had got his wine by wishing people good day, whearas I sought to get my vain glory by lying. (6.6.9, 6.6.10) I was not now in that state of vanity; I had transcended it . . . (8.1.2) My will was perverted, and became a lust; I obeyed my lust as a slave, and it became a habit; I failed to resist my habit, and it became a need. (8.5.10) I was in both the flesh and the spirit, but I was more myself in that which I approved in myself, than that which I disapproved in myself. (8.5.11) He was capable of far greater literary activity, if he wished . . . (8.6.13) . . . avoiding in his teaching all that might disturb the quiet of his mind; for that he wished to keep free and unoccupied for as many hours of the day as possible, while he sought to read or hear something concerning wisdom. (8.6.13) All these tasks we endure—where are they taking us? (8.6.15) He read, and was changed within . . . and his mind began to put off the world. For as he read . . . he pondered the shifting tides of his heart . . . he discerned the better course, and resolved upon it. (8.6.15) Merely to seek this wisdom, even if I did not find it, now seemed preferable to difficult treasure houses or kingships of the nations, or an abundance of bodily pleasures that surpasses all my wishes. (8.7.17) To progress toward it—indeed to attain it—was nothing other than the will to progress, but with a will that was strong and whole throughout. (8.8.19) They did not block my path and speak out openly against me, but whispered behind my back and punched furtively at me as I left them behind, to make me look back. Nevertheless, they did delay my progress, and I was slow to tear myself away from them, shake them off, and hasten where I was summoned, as long as Habit, with all its force, said to me, 'Do you think you can do without these?' (8.11.26) For those whose with it is to rejoice in outward things, soon waste away and spend themselves on things visible and temporal, and feed their famished mind by licking at illusions. (9.4.10) . . . honeyed with the honey of heaven, radiant with your radiance. (9.4.11) The scent of your ointments was heavy in the air . . . (9.7.16) . . . scented with costly perfumes. (9.13.36) You cast your fragrance, and I drew breath, yet pant for you; I tasted, yet hunger and thirst; you touched me, and I was on fire for your peace. (10.27.38) The allurements of scents, however, does not bother me too much. When they are absent, I do not feel the need of them; when they are present, I do not reject them. I would even be ready to do without them for ever. Or so I think I would, I may be deceived. (10.32.48) When our conversation reached the point at which no pleasure derived from carnal senses, however great, however illumined by bodily light, seemed in respect of the sweetness of that Life was worthy not only of comparison, but even of mention, then we raised ourselves up in a more ardent longing for the Same, moving step by step through all things corporeal, even the sky itself, from which sun and moon and stars shine upon the earth. Still higher we went, through inward contemplation and discussion and admiration . . . We came to our own minds, and passed beyond them to attain the land of richness unfailing where you feed Israel forever with the food of truth. There, life is the Wisdom through which all things that were and that are to be come into being . . . (9.10.24) I shall therefore, transcend even that innate strength of mine, spending by degrees to him that made me. I shall come to the plains and broad palaces of memory, where there are boards of countless images brought in from the things of all kind that the senses perceive. There is the storehouse of all that we ever contemplate, whether by increasing or by diminishing or by altering in some way the objects that our senses have encountered, and of everything else which is entrusted for safekeeping there and has not yet been swallowed up and buried in oblivion . . . Some things come to hand easily and in unbroken sequence, just as they are requested; those that come first give way to those that follow on from them, and having given way, are stored up , to come forth the net time I want them. All this happens when I relate something from memory. (10.8.12) All these things I do within, in the great hall of my memory. There heaven and earth stand ready for me, with everything in them that I have been able to perceive . . . (10.8.14) Great is the strength of Memory, great indeed, my God; an inner chamber vast and infinite. Who has ever sounded its depths? This strength belongs to my mind and to my nature, yet I myself cannot comprehend all that I am. Is mind, then, too narrow to hold itself? And if so, what is the part of itself that it does not contain? How, then, can it be outside itself rather than inside itself? How, then, can it not contain itself? Great wonder arises within me over this question; bewilderment overwhelms me. (10.8.15) But these are not the only things borne by my memory, with its innumerable capaciousness. In it also are all the elements of the liberal arts that I have acquired and not yet forgotten, as if kept apart in some placeless inner place. (10.9.16) In the countless fields and grots and caverns of my memory, full beyond counting with countless kinds of thing, I range through images, as with all physical objects, through presences, as with the liberal arts, through mental concepts and records, as with my states of mind, which memory retains even when the mind is not undergoing them, though whatever is in the memory is also in the mind. Through all these things I range, flitting this way and that. I go as deep in as I can, and nowhere is there an end . . . (10.17.26) And although I eat and drink for my health’s sake, a dangerous sweetness tags along at our heels and often attempts to go first, to make me do for pleasure’s sake what I say or wish to do for my health’s sake . . . My wretched soul is full of flee at this very uncertainty, and uses it in preparing the case for its defence, rejoicing that it is not clear what is the due amount of food to maintain one’s physical wellbeing, and covering the work of pleasure with the pretext of health. (10.31.44) If I were given the choice of being on the one hand mad or mistaken on all matters and still praised by all men, or on the other hand of being firm in my wits, firmly convinced of the truth, and reviled by all, I know what I would choose. (10.37.61) This is the profit I have of my confessions: that I should confess not what I was, but what I am, and confess it not only before you with secret exultation and trembling, and secret grief and hope, but also in the ears of those children of men who believe. These are my companions in my fellow-pilgrims; those that have gone before me, those that will come after me, those that come with me. (10.4.6) ___________ To Carthage then I came, where a cauldron of unholy loves sang all about mine ears . . . (Virtue Chastises Folly: Allergory of Lust; 3.1.1) ___________ . . . each drop off time is precious to me. (11.2.2) ‘My son, for my part, I no longer take any pleasure in this life. What I am now doing here still, and why I am here, I do not know; my hope in this world is spent. There was one thing for which I used to long to remain a while longer in this life . . . (9.10.26)

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jerome Peterson

    "Confessions" is the type of book with a heavy dynamic caliber that it should be read slow, thoughtfully, and with a highlighter. Saint Augustine doe not hold back in his shortcomings. He paints a black, very personal, wicked youth. He confesses all and bares his soul. The passages about his mother were extremely soulful revealing the man as an affectionate son. He writes with hopeful authority; yet in a humble voice and always in a way that I could relate with it in today's hectic pace. His sty "Confessions" is the type of book with a heavy dynamic caliber that it should be read slow, thoughtfully, and with a highlighter. Saint Augustine doe not hold back in his shortcomings. He paints a black, very personal, wicked youth. He confesses all and bares his soul. The passages about his mother were extremely soulful revealing the man as an affectionate son. He writes with hopeful authority; yet in a humble voice and always in a way that I could relate with it in today's hectic pace. His style was unique to me for he included and addressed God as one of his readers not as a truth seeker, such as myself, but as The Almighty. The content itself is woven with scripture in such a way that it drew me in instead of losing me or making me feel like a wretch. The author covers his sinful youth and years of his adult life; pursuit for truth; his faithful mother; his pagan father; even a friend that was addicted to attending gladiatorial shows! He also covers subjects such as invisible nature, memory, and time. Saint Augustine lived A.D. 354-430 and was one of the outstanding figures of the declining Roman Empire. He was a prolific writer of books, letters, and sermons. I highly recommend this book; especially to anyone who is seeking truth and answers about the seen and unseen world around them as well as self-evident mysteries such as memory and time.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    I hate to say it, but I have some bad news about the Penguin Great Ideas series with which I'm so smitten. I'm not sure if you'll find this as shocking as I did, but here it is: some of these books are excerpted. And I say "excerpted" only so as to avoid an uglier word: if pressed, I must admit that this edition of Augustine's Confessions is - I can barely stand to write it - ABRIDGED. To Penguin's credit, they don't try to hide the abridgment, as some expurgators have done before them. Right on the title page, they let I hate to say it, but I have some bad news about the Penguin Great Ideas series with which I'm so smitten. I'm not sure if you'll find this as shocking as I did, but here it is: some of these books are excerpted. And I say "excerpted" only so as to avoid an uglier word: if pressed, I must admit that this edition of Augustine's Confessions is - I can barely stand to write it - ABRIDGED. To Penguin's credit, they don't try to hide the abridgment, as some expurgators have done before them. Right on the title page, they let you know "this extract first published in Penguin Books 2004," and as the text commences they mark each omission with a [...:] symbol. There are MANY such symbols. My full edition of the Confessions is 305 pages of dense, close-set text; the Great Ideas edition is only 114 smaller, wider-set pages. Based on that and on my remembered reading of the whole thing in my senior seminar in college, I think it's a safe bet that about two-thirds of the entire text has been removed, if not more. Which is a huge percentage. Frankly, even with their omissions clearly marked throughout the text, I think it's disingenuous of Penguin to market this book as St. Augustine's Confessions of a Sinner (a very similar title to the more standard Confessions), rather than as something like "Selections from the Confessions." People should know what they're getting before the book arrives in the mail, and what they're getting in this case is a MUCH different experience than they'll have if they read the full document. Take the famous pear-stealing scene. In both versions, Augustine relates that one night in his adolescence, he and a band of other teenagers stole some pears from a neighborhood tree - not because they wanted or needed the pears, but just for the joy of stealing. In the original text, he then goes on to angst about the theological implications of the pear theft for six densely-packed pages. Got it? He's seriously tortured about the pears. HOW COULD HE HAVE TAKEN THE PEARS? In the abridged version, this angsting is cut to barely one small, medium-spaced page, giving the impression that he's merely remarking, reasonably enough, at the perversity of a humanity that commits a crime solely for the wicked joy of sinning, and that he's then moving on to other subjects. I bring up the pears not because I have some burning desire to read about them in their entirety yet again. I may not quite agree with Richard, who claims that his definition of hell is having to read the pear-stealing scene one more time, but I've certainly had my fill of it. No, my point in mentioning this passage is that it's one example of how the Penguin abridgment distorts Augustine's character. It makes him out to be a pious, reasonable man, a bit overwrought perhaps, but able to write clearly and concisely about his spiritual journey and eventual conversion to Catholicism. Whereas in fact Augustine is not reasonable AT ALL, and he's certainly not concise. In fact, I think two big points of his narrative are that the spiritual realm evades reason, and that to portray his journey as less than the long, brutal struggle he found it would be to minimize something that he wants, on the contrary, to emphasize. The struggle with reason, for example, is at the forefront of young Augustine's grappling with the church doctrines. He writes about finding many of these doctrines nonsensical, since for a long time he tries to interpret them literally. Only when Bishop Ambrose explains them to him figuratively can he grasp their value. (And there are pages and pages in which he tries to get a handle on "figurative" - all excised from the abridgment.) Likewise he is only able to make real progress toward conversion when he relinquishes his need to prove and understand things: Then, O Lord, you laid your most gentle, most merciful finger on my heart and set my thoughts in order, for I began to realize that I believed countless things which I had never seen or which had taken place when I was not there to see - so many events in the history of the world, so many facts about places and towns which I had never seen, and so much that I believed on the word of friends or doctors or various other people. Unless we took these things on trust, we should accomplish absolutely nothing in this life. Most of all it came home to me how firm and unshakable was the faith which told me who my parents were, because I could never have known this unless I believed what I was told. When Augustine's conversion finally does come, it is a completely non-rational process, described in language more akin to physical ecstasy than reasoned argument. In terms of the curated Great Ideas series, I think this is an important point: Augustine breaks with the Stoic tradition of rationality and constrained emotion represented by Seneca and Marcus Aurelius. His emotions run rampant all over the Confessions, and he depicts his relationship with God in language modern readers will recognize from the subsequent literature of erotically-charged romance: For love of your love I shall retrace my wicked ways. The memory is bitter, but it will help me to savour your sweetness, the sweetness that does not deceive but brings real joy and never fails. For love of your love I shall retrieve myself from the havoc of disruption which tore me to pieces when I turned away from you, whom alone I should have sought, and lost myself instead on many a different quest. Removing the angst from Augustine is kind of like removing the cabbage from coleslaw. And while the Penguin folks don't manage to get all of it, their abridged Augustine is a much different fellow than the full-force version available elsewhere - too bad, since I think he's theoretically a great choice to illustrate the transition from Stoic rationalism to early Christian mysticism. Similarly, the structure of the complete Confessions is an excellent (if excruciating) example of form reflecting content. The story Augustine wants to tell is one of a disgustingly sinful young man, who knows in his soul that he should convert to the true church, but lacks the decisiveness and strength of character to do so. He struggles over this for nine years, almost converting several times and then losing courage at the last moment. Finally, he is driven to distraction and has an epiphanic moment, wherein the chains of his self-imposed slavery fall away and he is born again in God. From that day on, he is a completely different man: he never looks back or regresses; he is cleansed of all sinful urges and dedicates himself completely to the work of the Church. (The completeness of Augustine's conversion experience rings very false to me, and it's something we discussed a lot in my seminar. Apparently Augustine set the standard for conversion narratives for many years: early church members didn't want to acknowledge that spiritual life might still be a struggle after conversion. According to my professor, it wasn't until the writings of Teresa of Avila in the sixteenth century that Christian leaders started telling conversion stories in which the converted person still struggled with sin and doubt even AFTER adult baptism.) In any case, the structure of the Confessions reflects this story beautifully; it's one of the things I most appreciate about the original document. Augustine's pre-conversion struggles go on for such a painfully long time that the reader, unable to stand any more, joins him in his desperation to make some kind of change. After the conversion happens, Augustine's voice becomes almost completely disembodied: whereas previously he had been writing a story about himself and his actions, his post-epiphanic text is straight theology, with little or no narrative at all. This reflects the heightened, unchanging realm in which his post-conversion existence is supposed to be happening. And while it makes the second half pretty darned boring to a religious agnostic like myself, I still think it's highly effective: the reader can literally see and feel the difference in the person Augustine was versus the person (or saint) he becomes. In the abridged version, we get neither the excruciatingly long lead-up to the conversion, nor as much of the change in mood after baptism. Which I think is a shame. On the plus side, and rather predictably, the abridged version is much more readable than the original. It flows briskly along, like a fourth-century version of some snappy modern memoir. Had it been published as "Selections from the Confessions," it could have served a valuable role as a quick-and-dirty introduction to the more famous and influential passages from Augustine - and it can still serve that function, albeit not as easily given that people ordering it won't know what they're getting. Am I still in love with the Great Ideas series? I have to admit that this discovery gives me pause. I've found that Amazon.co.uk offers their "Look Inside" feature on most of the volumes in the series, so I've done a little research about how many are affected. (The second page of this preview, for example, reassures me that Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own is presented whole. I could never have forgiven them for altering a single word.) And while most of the remainder of Series One is uncut, the vast majority of Series Two are extracts. This can mean, I think, a couple of things: in many cases, it just means that certain essays were taken from Penguin's "Complete Essays" edition of the author's work. That kind of excerpting doesn't bother me at all, as long as each essay remains complete. But a few editions are, like Augustine, out-and-out abridged, which really rubs me the wrong way. It's one thing if I would never seek out the author on my own: realistically, I'm never going to read the entire Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, so I don't really mind getting a taste of it here and there. But a few of the abridged volumes are things I'm actually interested in reading independently of the Great Ideas series: Christine de Pizan's The Book of the City of Ladies, Marco Polo's Travels, and Hannah Arendt's Eichmann in Jerusalem are the three that leap to mind. I don't think I want to experience those in abridged form, but neither do I want to give up on the curated experience that is the Great Ideas series. Even among the three volumes I've finished, there has been such an interesting dialog that I'm still convinced reading these series in order will be a rewarding exercise. So...I think what I'll do is to keep ordering them in sets of four, but when I reach an abridged one that I'm independently interested in, I'll find a complete version to substitute for the expurgated one. It kind of hurts me to give up the idea of the full eighty-volume set with all its pretty matching covers, but I think it would bother me even more to wonder what I was missing all the time. Alternatively, if I'm feeling flush it might be interesting to buy both editions and see which parts the Great Ideas people wanted to stress and which they thought could be done away with. The next in the series, Thomas à Kempis's The Inner Life, is another expurgated title: an extract from The Imitation of Christ. But I get the impression that the cuts are nowhere near as radical as in the Confessions. Anyhow, we'll see how I enjoy the jump of almost a thousand years into medieval Germanic Christianity!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Justin Evans

    Considering that the style of Augie's work is completely and utterly impenetrable, this is actually a pretty decent read. Just come to it expecting circularity, meditation, rapturous theology and self-flagellation, and you'll come away impressed. Don't expect anything linear, and you'll be all the more impressed when he ends up, every now and then, out-Aristotling Aristotle with arguments of the (x-->y)&(y-->z)&(z-->p)&(p-->q); ~x is absurd; therefore q variety. Don't exp Considering that the style of Augie's work is completely and utterly impenetrable, this is actually a pretty decent read. Just come to it expecting circularity, meditation, rapturous theology and self-flagellation, and you'll come away impressed. Don't expect anything linear, and you'll be all the more impressed when he ends up, every now and then, out-Aristotling Aristotle with arguments of the (x-->y)&(y-->z)&(z-->p)&(p-->q); ~x is absurd; therefore q variety. Don't expect any modern 'you are a unique and special snowflake and your desires are good it's just that your parents/society/upbringing/schoolfriends/economic earning power have stunted you' self-help guff. It'd be nice to read someone more contemporary who's willing to admit that people do things wrong, all the time, and should feel really shitty for doing wrong things. Don't expect Aquinas. This is the hardest bit for me; if someone's going to talk about God I prefer that they be coldly logical about it. Augie goes more for the erotic allegory, self-abasement in the face of the overwhelming eternal kind of thing. No thanks. Finally, be aware that you'll need to think long and hard about what he says and why he says it when he does. Books I-IX are the ones you'll read as autobiography, and books X-XIII will seem like a slog. But it's all autobiography. Sadly for Augie, he doesn't make it easy for us to value the stuff he wants to convince us to value, which is the philosophy and theology of the later books. The structure, as far as I can tell, is to show us first how he got to believing that it was possible for him to even begin thinking about God (that's I-IX). X-XIII shows us how he goes about thinking about God, moving from the external world, to the human self in X and a bit of XI, to the whole of creation in XI and XII, to God himself in XIII. I have no idea if this is what he had in mind, but it roughly works out. That's all very intellectually stimulating, but it's still way more fun to read about his peccadilloes and everyday life in the fourth century.

  21. 4 out of 5

    G.M. Burrow

    Feels rather like reading the Psalms. That should tell you it's good.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Barnaby Thieme

    Augustine's Confessions is a literary masterpiece of world-historical importance, to be sure. There is hardly a subsequent European Christian author for whom his work did not loom as the very paradigm of how doctrine is to be approached, and how it is to illuminate one's individual life and reflection. It forms the acme of moral inventory and autobiographical reflection, and contributes mightily to the European concept of interiority and subjectivity which, in Charles Taylor's sense, provides on Augustine's Confessions is a literary masterpiece of world-historical importance, to be sure. There is hardly a subsequent European Christian author for whom his work did not loom as the very paradigm of how doctrine is to be approached, and how it is to illuminate one's individual life and reflection. It forms the acme of moral inventory and autobiographical reflection, and contributes mightily to the European concept of interiority and subjectivity which, in Charles Taylor's sense, provides one way of answering the question, what is the self? I would not myself take it as an exposition of timeless truth, but I think the author himself would not have it be taken thus, fifteen hundred years after it was set down. Rather, I will follow his own proposed model and allow that what was good for certain people in certain remote ages is not necessarily what is good for us. In my view, this book consists of three principle parts. The first is the autobiographical confession for which this book is principally known; the second is an allegorical interpretation of the beginning of Genesis influenced heavily by his reading of the Neoplatonists; the third is the mysterious conjunction of these two in a single work, which receives little explanation, and which, I think, is intended as a kind of koan, or an enigmatic and edifying puzzle, for the reader's contemplation. I will leave this last mystery to the reader's own imagination and take up the first two, briefly. The story of Augustine's life is well-known - his growth from a precocious, well-educated youth to a Manichaean, his brief foray into Neoplatonism, and his subsequent conversion to Christianity. This journey is presented by the author as a kind of morality tale in which he gradually learns what he needs to learn in order to accept right doctrine, and here his encounter with Neoplatonism was decisive. Although he is clear that its abstract idiom left his compelling existential and soteriological concerns unaddressed, it nevertheless provided him conceptually with the tools he needed to conceive of spiritual matters in abstract terms. An illustration of this paradigm may be seen in his analysis of Genesis. Here I must say that I fundamentally differ from Augustine's moral paradigm, which in my eyes is chiefly concerned with virtue, in the sense of coming to know what is the right thing to do, and doing that thing. My own moral idiom is fundamentally motivated by compassion and care for all beings. Take, for example, the famous story of the pear tree, which Augustine uses as a case study in the depravity of his youth, and the nature of sin in general. As a boy, Augustine conspired with other youths to despoil a neighbor's pear tree, having no need of its fruit, and indeed having their own store of better-quality pears, but they delighted in the act of transgression itself. Augustine unpacks this incident at some length and is disturbed by what he sees as the intrinsic compulsion for people to do wrong for its own sake, and to take a kind of delight in it. It is this "for its own sake" that characterizes his moral concern, while to me what is of even greater concern is the effect this act had on his neighbor, whose pears were robbed, and who may not have been able to easily bear their loss. But this does not occupy Augustine's reflection in the least - what matters to him is the intrinsic rightness or wrongness of the act itself. I take a certain anthropological and psychological interest in walking down this road with Augustine, but I do not agree that whether or not we've got it is the most important thing. I suppose this is a question of whether one follows the Christ of the beatitudes, and take the injunction to love one's neighbor as one's self as pre-eminent, or one follows the Christ of Paul, who takes the assertion of the right creed as redemptive and thus of cardinal importance. For myself, I would rather be wrong and do my neighbor right than the opposite. So I can only go so far along with Augustine in his agonized self-reflection, absorbed as it is with a question of right doctrine, and also convinced of the wickedness of man in a degree that in my mind debases the spiritual reality and potentiality of human life. I would not agree, for example, that a badly-behaved baby is acting sinfully, though for Augustine it is the manifest cruelty of infants that demonstrates the doctrine of original sin. For Augustine, behind every human error lies sin, and I do not see it that way. As a philosopher, I naturally found Augustine's allegorical reading of Genesis rather exciting, though it may leave some readers confused. I was particularly fascinated by his analysis of time, his demonstration that it cannot mean what we normally take it to mean, and his use of that argument to demonstrate that the priority of various acts in the sequence of creation as presented in Genesis cannot be taken to mean a literal, temporal priority, but rather a logical or ontological priority. For God, for whom all time is equally "now," the act of creation is always, and creation is always created and sustained by the act of creation, which seems to our senses to be the play of time. This is clearly one of the most important books in the late classical period, and of colossal importance for understanding the intellectual history of Latin Europe. Fortunately, it is highly readable and often engrossing.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Genni

    What can I say about The Confessions that has not already been said? Not much. So I will just mention my slightly unusual reason for reading it. I recently read the only Latin novel to survive in it's entirety from antiquty, The Golden Ass, translated by P. G. Walsh. In the introduction, Walsh made this statement, "On two occasions Augustine associates him (Apuleius) specifically with the town; it must have been during his brief studies there that he first gained acquaintance with Apuleius' philosop What can I say about The Confessions that has not already been said? Not much. So I will just mention my slightly unusual reason for reading it. I recently read the only Latin novel to survive in it's entirety from antiquty, The Golden Ass, translated by P. G. Walsh. In the introduction, Walsh made this statement, "On two occasions Augustine associates him (Apuleius) specifically with the town; it must have been during his brief studies there that he first gained acquaintance with Apuleius' philosophical works and with The Golden Ass, which was to play so large a part in shaping The Confessions." Really? The reference for this statement was a book by Nancy J. Shumate, Phoenix, which I could not find anywhere. So I was curious how the risque Latin novel influenced the saintly Augustine. The most obvious point of similarity is the conversion experiences of Apuleius and Augustine, Apuleius to the Isis cult and Augustine to the God of Christianity. If Augustine really was influenced by The Golden Ass, then what he did in The Confessions was set his conversion experience up as a point of comparison, of course believing that of the two, his was true. Apuleius's conversion did, indeed, leave much to be desired, since he was much the same as he was at the beginning of his journey. Curiosity was his point of weakness and after his conversion it continued to be. Augustine was transformed from the inside out in his experience with his God. The best example of this was the issue of celibacy. Lucius's celibacy was a requirement, Augustine's was an offering. Augustine overcame his desire for sex by means of a spiritual ephinany. Lucius's own vice, curiosity, was the means of overcoming his desires. So one wonders, did Lucius truly experience a metamorphosis? Other, seemingly blatant, references to The Golden Ass: "Free curiosity has greater power to stimulate learning than rigorous coercion. Nevertheless, the free ranging flux of curiosity is channeled by discipline under Your Law.” "My studies which were deemed respectable had the objective of leading me to distinction as an advocate in lawcourts, where one's reputation is high in proportion to one's success in deceiving people." "They do not slay in sacrifice to you what they have made themselves to be. They do not kill their own pride like high- flying birds, their curiosity like 'fishes of the sea', and their sexual indulgence like the 'beasts of the field', so that you, God, who are a devouring fire, may consume their mortal concerns and recreate them for immortality." ".. and you put before me the attractions of Rome to draw me there, using people who love a life of death, committing insane actions in this world, promising vain rewards in the next." The last third of the book was a fascinating journey through Augustine's thoughts. His chapter on memory was very reminiscent of Plato's treatment of recollection. It was a bit different in that he believed ideas existed before, but not in his memory. I still don't know what I think about his allegorical exegesis of Genesis. And now for my confessions: I slept through the first chapter when Augsutine "recalls" his infancy. I slept through the numerous panegyrics on Monica. She is a wonderful picture of every longsuffering, prayerful mother that has ever existed. However, even after mentioning her brief bout with alcoholism, I felt very removed from her. I think his portrayal of her was still too saintly to make her relatable. Overall, the most inspiring aspect of this book is Augustine's humility and love for his God. This will probably be a book that I read and reread through the years. Sidenote: Chadwick's footnotes were helpful, but I noticed that every time Augustine used language even remotely similar to Plotinus or some other middle Platonist he would point this out. It gave me the impression (perhaps incorrectly) that Chadwick did not think Augustine had an original idea in his head. Not having read Plotinus, this is just an observation/question, not an argument.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Silvia Cachia

    I started to read Agustin Confessions in July. It took me six months to read it, and I'm glad I took it slowly. I won't try to give a complete analysis of the book, or get into deep theological questions. My purpose is to give a simple review of how the book related to me as a christian and reader. First I'd like to comment on the translation of the book. I read it in Spanish, translated from the Latin into Spanish. I had tried to read this book in English, but the translat I started to read Agustin Confessions in July. It took me six months to read it, and I'm glad I took it slowly. I won't try to give a complete analysis of the book, or get into deep theological questions. My purpose is to give a simple review of how the book related to me as a christian and reader. First I'd like to comment on the translation of the book. I read it in Spanish, translated from the Latin into Spanish. I had tried to read this book in English, but the translation was older, and though possibly very beautiful, it was more difficult to me. The translation then worked, and the first books inside the book, the ones that dealt with his life as a sinner, up to his conversion, were on the overall easy to follow. I enjoyed his candor, and I related to many of his conversations and prayers to our Lord, giving Him sovereignty, praising Him, and showing a contrite heart after unmasking his rebellious or prideful attitude in life. Agustin was a Gnostic and he proceeds to tell us about the false doctrines he held to, and how he learned about God's word, which led to his conversion. We come to an intimate part in the book where he talks about how his life changed, and that ends with the passing away of his mother. After, there comes the chapters that are epistemological (?) and theological too, where Agustin talks about our faculties, and how we learn and how we know about the world, and God. The last part that gives the book its title, consists of his confessions. This last part is devoted to explain how it is we sin with our different senses, and what it means to him the pride of life and the lust of the eyes. While I benefited much from Agustin honest thoughts, his life, and his exposition of what he understood to be the christian life, and a true christian attitude, something changed in me while reading the book. I read Surprised by Hope in the middle of reading The Confessions. In Surprised by Hope, the author explains and debunks Gnosticism, and that platonic dualism (flesh and soul) that most of us take for granted since it's come to be part of how we understand christianity. Respectfully, I'd like to end saying that while I totally exhort any and all to read this book, I know I don't hold all Agustin's beliefs as true. While I have no quarrels with talking about the mind, the soul, the flesh, or our intellect, our spiritual life, our bodily functions, etc. (classifying and making distinctions is always useful), ultimately I do disagree with Agustin's portrayal of the senses, and his take on the christian life, on what is sinful and what's noble. I believe that, having lived a very worldly life initially, he swung the pendulum to the opposite direction, resulting in a completely suspicious view of anything that relates to our senses. Again, I don't mean there's no conflict, (Paul tells us so), all I say it's that I see a big chasm, a Platonic view of the body that I don't share. The very disagreements make this book even more important. Reading The Confessions will help you understand the origin of much of what we nowadays hold in our common storage of what we understand by sin, flesh, soul, senses, and the spiritual life. And I cannot thank him enough for allowing me to meet him, for being so honest, and for inciting me to love the Lord, to make introspection, and to strive to be more humble and a better christian.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    Written during the waning of the Roman Empire around 400AD, this account of the early life of a seminal theologian of the Catholic church is a personal perspective on what he regards as his sinful life leading up to his conversion. His writing is surprisingly accessible, almost modern in its approach to weighing the factors that contribute to growing up. His mother was a Christian, but he took a long time to come around. He excelled in school and hungered to elucidate abstract knowledge, eventua Written during the waning of the Roman Empire around 400AD, this account of the early life of a seminal theologian of the Catholic church is a personal perspective on what he regards as his sinful life leading up to his conversion. His writing is surprisingly accessible, almost modern in its approach to weighing the factors that contribute to growing up. His mother was a Christian, but he took a long time to come around. He excelled in school and hungered to elucidate abstract knowledge, eventually becoming a master of rhetoric, like his hero Cicero. Yet from his youth, he cherished sexual and other worldly pleasures while paradoxically aligning himself with the Manicheeism theology that condemned the Christian tenet of a human Christ for not being spiritual enough. His explorations of how he worked his way toward conversion represents an early advance in psychology. He covers well how his character was shaped by maternal nurturing, paternal discipline, peer relations, early loves, positive role models, and personal tragedies. His reflections on the relationship of sensory perception to knowledge, the relativity of perception and emotions, the prime role of memory to consciousness, and constructive capacity of language are refreshing precursors to current perspective. He tries to make sense of the issue of human free will vs. God being part of everything, but doesn't have a compelling solution to me. I enjoyed his musings on the nature of time, logically concluding past, present, and future are all meaningful only from a present perspective (with "now" ultimately infinitesimally short). His struggle to account for creation having a beginning with God existing outside time (and the meaning of the pre-creation "ithout form and void"version of matter) resembles to me the challenge for modern physics of what existed before the Big Bang. On the downside for a non-religious person reading this book today is that he obviously couldn't escape the worldview of dualism between matter/body and spirit/mind/soul. Yet he doesn't come to cast worldly experiences and pleasures as meaningless or evil or speak much of the devil or Hell. For him, the origin of evil lies in being out of God's light or in willful ignorance, not from a separate source. It's a shame that this worldly Christian thinker didn't evolve more to the mystical view of God really being in the world, following the example of Christ for the "Word made flesh".

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sean

    In his "Confessions", Augustine tells the story of his early life and ultimate acceptance of a Christian life. Augustine was born in 354 on a farm in Algeria, the son of a Christian mother and a pagan father. He describes his early life, during which time he mastered Latin literature and became a teacher of literature and public speaking. Augustine describes in detail his secular life, marriage of 15 years, as well as his personal spiritual journey from a life of earthly desires towar In his "Confessions", Augustine tells the story of his early life and ultimate acceptance of a Christian life. Augustine was born in 354 on a farm in Algeria, the son of a Christian mother and a pagan father. He describes his early life, during which time he mastered Latin literature and became a teacher of literature and public speaking. Augustine describes in detail his secular life, marriage of 15 years, as well as his personal spiritual journey from a life of earthly desires towards the acceptance of the Christian values that he had learned from his mother. Early in his life, Augustine became interested in Manichee theosophy, but ultimately abandoned Manicheeism for the Neoplatonic mysticism of Plotinus. At the age of 32, after a vision in a Milanese garden, he renounced his secular life and devoted himself to Christianity. The story of Augustine's early life and search for a spiritual philosophy is interesting reading, though not a short story. The "Confessions" can be read as more than just a spiritual journey, but also as a cultural history of the Roman world of the late 4th century. Augustine's descriptions of his friends and family are very real and give a good picture of life at that time in Algeria and Italy. In the last four books of the "Confessions", Augustine moves from a description of his own personal history to a theological discussion of the Christian view of creation and the nature of time, among other topics. For someone not interested in theological hair-splitting, these books can get pretty tedious. As an example, Augustine spends many, many pages discussing exactly what God created when he made the "heavens and the earth" and which he created first. This is quite a bit less compelling to read than his earlier discussions of life in Milan.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Banner

    The Confessions of St. Augustine: Modern English Version Just finished the Modern English Version. First let me say that this is an amazing work that modern Christians would greatly benifit from reading. Regardless of your faith you will appreciate the insight into Augustine's worldview and logical mind. I enjoyed this version but will go back to Chadwick for the next read.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    Reading the Confessions I feel like I am encountering Augustine face to face, his voice has such passion and immediacy.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Zachary McIntire

    Having read the comments of a GR friend about the difficulty of reading the unabridged Confessions, I'm glad it was this excerpted version that I ended up with instead. (I inherited it from a friend who went abroad and couldn't take his books with him.) I have to say, even this edition was challenging at times: I had to reread a lot of paragraphs to unpack the author's meaning, and some of them were still so dense to me that I just gave up and moved on. Nevertheless, I'm very glad to have finally Having read the comments of a GR friend about the difficulty of reading the unabridged Confessions, I'm glad it was this excerpted version that I ended up with instead. (I inherited it from a friend who went abroad and couldn't take his books with him.) I have to say, even this edition was challenging at times: I had to reread a lot of paragraphs to unpack the author's meaning, and some of them were still so dense to me that I just gave up and moved on. Nevertheless, I'm very glad to have finally read at least a basic version of this Christian classic for myself. As others have been, I was impressed by Augustine's honesty and self-reflectiveness, especially his open admission where his understanding of God failed him. I love that the book is addressed to God, rather than to the readers, which makes the experience of reading it sort of like participating in a prayer. The way Augustine continuously glorifies God throughout his confessions is beautiful to me, and something I hope to incorporate more into my own prayer life.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    When high school Amy complained about the lack of devotions available to her, I wish someone had given her this book. I wish someone had told her to challenge herself and not be afraid. 'Cause let's be real, even at 25 I felt intimidated and pretentious picking up a book by a church father. Imagine 15-year-old me doing it. I say that wish because I want to encourage 15 year olds to read this book. And 25 year olds. And 85 year olds. Augustine is not as scary as he sounds. Confessions is an incredibly reada When high school Amy complained about the lack of devotions available to her, I wish someone had given her this book. I wish someone had told her to challenge herself and not be afraid. 'Cause let's be real, even at 25 I felt intimidated and pretentious picking up a book by a church father. Imagine 15-year-old me doing it. I say that wish because I want to encourage 15 year olds to read this book. And 25 year olds. And 85 year olds. Augustine is not as scary as he sounds. Confessions is an incredibly readable and beautiful book. It is a love letter to God. I found this book challenging and profound; I will definitely be coming back. This is one of those books that calls for multiple re-reads.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.